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The Welsh Gunners

39 Regiment Royal Artillery is the only regular army unit equipped with the state of the art Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS). Our regiment has four equipment batteries, each one operates the Multiple Launch Rocket System Each Rocket has a range of 70 KM, hence the nickname 'The 70km Sniper', and can be delivered to an accuracy of 5 Metres.

Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS)

In Combat situations, GMLRS is now the weapon of choice. The GMLRS provides the Army with huge amounts of firepower. Launchers operate from concealed hides, fire their rockets and then relocate before the enemy can find them. In combat situations, guided rockets are being used to hit precision targets while safeguarding friendly forces and the local population.

Much work goes into the preparation of the battery deploying to theatre. It is vital that the soldiers prepare themselves for the operation of the MLRS Launchers. These skills are then honed through a series of challenging and imaginative training exercises finishing off with a series of live firing events.

They also need to undergo a significant amount of individual preparation. This involves them passing all the routine Mandatory Annual Training Tests (MATTS) as well as undergoing a series of training programmes run by external organisations such as the Operational Training and Advisory Group (OPTAG) which provides detailed theatre familiarisation and where individual skills are refreshed and where necessary, taught. This includes training on a range of non-standard equipment such as the Heavy Machine Gun and Light Anti-Armour Weapon.

As you would expect, the Regiment is committed to enabling the soldiers to succeed. This commitment is constantly on-going back in Albemarle Barracks where there is still much to do to support the soldiers prior to, during and after the tour. As well as the operationally specific training, they are also issued with all the clothing and personal equipment needed to operate in a desert environment.

Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System in action

GMLRS in action with 39 Regiment

39 Regiment Batteries

35 Battery

22nd March 2004 marked the first day of The 4th Battery, 39 Regiment RA, later to be 35 Battery. The battery would be rolled as a Multiple Launching Rocket System battery, first they had to re-role as a Surveillance and Target Acquisition battery in the form of COBRA and ASP for deployment in 2005.

The battery re-rolled to GMLRS in preparation for deployment where they were the first Royal Artillery battery to fire GMLRS. 35 Battery have continued to be a theatre asset providing precision fire.


51 (Kabul 1842) Battery

In 1838 the Coy joined the Army of India. 

In Kabul, General George Pollock assembled an Army of Retribution; a punitive expedition that fought its way back to the Afghan capital where it was instrumental in the destruction of the bazaar. The Coy provided the Artillery support for the expedition and awarded the honour title KABUL for its part in the first ever successful forcing of the Khyber Pass. 

May 2012 the battery deployed to Afghanistan in support to TF Helmand (4 Mech Bde) and 4 Regt RA.


56 (Olphert's) HQ Battery

During the first relief of Lucknow, Captain Olpherts or 'Hellfire Jack' as he was known won the Victoria Cross for conspicuous gallantry; he charged the enemy on horseback and captured two rebel guns which were pouring fire onto the flanks of the advancing forces. The honour title 'Olpherts' was awarded to the direct descendants of Captain Olpherts Battery.

The battery continues to provide the Headquarters, Technical, Administrative and logistic Support to the Regiment.


74 (The Battleaxe Company) Battery

Raised at Kilkenny in 1801 from men of the disbanded Royal Irish Artillery.

During the Napoleonic Wars it helped capture the Caribbean island of Martinique.

The Commander wished to give a captured French gun to the Company. The Battery Commander petitioned that the gun be replaced by something easily carried and two French trophies captured at Martinique were given. These trophies were a brass drum and a battle axe. The Company has been known as Battle Axe Company Royal Artillery since that day.


132 (The Bengal Rocket Troop) Battery

The battery is particularly proud of its part in the action near Sidi Rezegh during the WWII when it engaged 28 German tanks in the open destroying 7 and damaging 4, forcing the enemy to withdraw.

In September 1990 the battery received the American M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and within 5 months saw active service in the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq.

The troop is equipped with the GMLRS artillery system and is responsible for providing precision strike capabilities in all conditions.


176 (Abu Klea) Battery

Formed in 1860 and has participated in many campaigns, most notably the Battle of Abu Klea in 1885, where it earned a Victoria Cross and later its Honour Title. On 22 June 1955, 176 Battery was awarded the Honour Title "Abu Klea" in recognition of its distinguished service in this action.

The batteries emblem is the kicking mule, in recognition of the important role played by mules in its history. It had previously been the batteries emblem but had been dropped. It was later reinstated.


39 Regiment Location

39 Regiment Location

39 Regiment Location

Albermarle Barracks, Nr Harlow Hill, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. NE15 0RF

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